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EUROPEAN UNION TO POST PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO MACAU AND OPEN INFORMATION CENTRE TO PROMOTE
THE EURO SINGLE CURRENCY IN ASIA

pa5gr1b.jpg (87440 bytes)     As a direct outcome of Governor General Vasco Rocha Vieira’s high-profile visit to European Union institutions in Brussels in the first week of December, the European Commission has announced that it will post a permanent EU representative to Macau.

     European Commission spokesman Vale de Almeida said the EU would use Macau as a conduit for disseminating information about the euro single currency in Asia.

     The announcement was made after a number of top level meetings between Gen. Vieira and EU officials, namely European Commission President Jacques Santer and Vice-President Leon Brittan.

     Macau’s prestigious European Studies Institute, headed by Maria do Ceu Esteves, will serve as the principal centre of EU activities in Macau.

     The EU has also pledged to assist Macau in setting up an international tourism studies centre, a Euro-Asian business innovation centre and two nuclei to study European law and multiculturalism at the European Studies Institute.

pa5gr2b.jpg (63932 bytes)     The European Commission spokesman said the EU and Macau had agreed that their bilateral co-operation agreement signed in 1992 should remain valid beyond the Territory’s reversion to Chinese administration in December 1999.

     Macau’s co-operation agreement with the 15-nation European Union, which has a combined population of over 370 million, is the only of its kind signed by a territory or country in the Far East.

     Gen. Vieira also said the European Commission had pledged it would support Macau’s intention of gaining observer status at two working groups of ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) dealing with cultural and management affairs.

     During his four-day stay in Europe’s de facto capital, Gen. Vieira also addressed a joint committee meeting of the European Parliament and conferred with its President, José Maria Gil-Robles. The Governor also met with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana.

     Gen. Vieira said his visit was primarily meant to raise Macau’s "international visibility" and strengthen ties with the EU. pa5gr3b.jpg (63256 bytes)

     The Macau Governor’s delegation to the EU included the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the WTCM Board of Directors, Susana Chou and Edmund Ho respectively.

     Portugal’s leading economists, Vítor Constâncio and João Salgueiro, gave lectures on the new euro currency at the World Trade Center Macau earlier this year.

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